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"Hi, Sam! Did you get the mowing done?"
Looking amazed, Dad said, "All 18 holes?"
"What time did you get up this morning?"
"Four thirty! Its supposed to be a scorcher today and I wanted to beat the heat!"
"And you want to get your drivers license today!"
"I dont, Dad! I really dont see the need for a drivers license!"
"I cant believe you dont care if you get a drivers license! How are you going to go out on dates go parking!"
"Come on, Dad! If I had a girl maybe Id want to drive, but I dont. Besides, girls dont seem to like me much!"
"Youve got to be kidding me! You are a spitting image of your old man and Im tellin ya that the girls will like ya. Hell, I had girls coming out of the woodwork when I was your age and they all wanted to get a piece of me! Have ya thought about cutting that long hair of yours?"
"No! I like my hair long!"
"I suppose you are going to let grow down to your ass?"
"No, this is as long as Im going to let it grow!"
"Well, I suppose its alright as long as I never see ya squat to pee!"
"Dad, do I really look that much like you?"
"Yes, my hair was just as blond as yours but you have your mothers light brown eyes."
Dad stood there looking at me as if lost in his own thoughts. Whenever he talked about Mom he got like this. I never got to know her because she died in a car accident when I was just a baby. Grandma said that it took him a long time to get over her death. Dad pretty much raised me on his own. Grandpa owned a golf course called Timber Stone and Dad helped him take care of it. Later on he became a golf pro and so far has done pretty well. He usually places near the top and earns good money. Grandpa said that hes like a magnet for his golf course because everyone wants to take lessons from my dad or do a round of golf with him. When he was out on tour Id spend most my time with Grandpa cutting and trimming the grass or weeding the flowerbeds. When I was tall enough to reach the clutch on the tractor, Grandpa showed me how to properly cut the fairways and care for the greens. Every morning wed cut and every evening wed be out repairing divots.
Dad taught me everything he knows about golf. When I was just a little guy Dad only allowed me to chip onto the green and then putt. He always told me that you drive for show and putt for dough!
My grandmother is sort of the brains behind the whole operation. Grandpa tends to the course and she takes care of the finances. Besides tending to the course I also help Grandma out in the clubhouse and have gotten to know a lot of the clientele. Its gotten around town that Ive taken after my old man in golf. In fact I sometimes beat my dad. This kind of news gets around fast in the golf community. Anyway, people that frequent Timber Stone are aware of this and instead of paying my old man for lessons they will often ask me to play a round of golf with them. I enjoy the game and usually dont pass up the offer. It doesnt seem to bother Dad, besides he says that it allows me time to play and rub elbows with a lot of the business people in town.
I like the game of golf but my true passion in life is caring for the golf course. Grandma says that Im a lot like my Grandpa. As a young man Grandpa became disenchanted with farming and sold off a lot of his land to pay for the cost of creating a golf course. Being a horticulturist at heart he wanted to work with more than just corn, beans, and hay, so he thought it would be more interesting and lucrative to own a golf course.
I think Ive taken after him in that regard. I can spend hours taking care of plants and in the process lose all track of time. Im always full of ideas on how to alter the play of the course. Grandpa says I have made the course more interesting and challenging. Since we offer memberships and have the same clientele year after year I think its important to alter the course periodically to keep them from getting bored. As Im working I often observe golfers to see where most of them land their shots and thats where I usually place a bunker or some damn obstacle. One year Grandpa and I placed a 10-foot deep bunker in the right side of the fairway but after an old guy broke his leg climbing down into it we widened it and filled it with water. Now I go snorkeling in it and retrieve tons of balls and sell them back to the people that drove them in there! Grandma lets me keep the money. Heck, I do pretty well when you can sell them for a buck a ball!
"Well, Son, are you ready to take your driving exam?"
"Yeah, lets get it over with so I can get back to help Grandpa trim some trees!"
I dont know how I did it but I passed! Dad patted me on the back and said, "Way to go, Son!"
I followed Dad out of the DOT building, admiring my drivers license. I almost ran into him when he made an abrupt stop. I looked up to see why we hadnt walked over to where our car was parked. He was grinning ear to ear and holding a set of keys out to me. "Heres your car keys!"
Not knowing what the hell he was talking about, I said, "Keys? Why are we here? The car is over there!"
Pointing at a black Corvette, he said, "No, your car is right here!"
"WHAT! YOURE KIDDING! RIGHT?"
"NO! Im not kidding!"
In amazement I began circling the car. "Holy shit!"
"Its not new but it has low mileage."
I hugged Dad and said, "Thanks, Dad! This is totally awesome!"
"Im glad you like it!"
Dad followed me home, probably to make sure that it didnt get away from me. I think I drove about 30 mph all the way home. Dads Lexus never had this much get up and go! When we finally got home Dad said, "I think youve been riding with Gramps too much! You drive like an old man!"
"This thing is scary!" Dad and I looked under the hood.
"Aint she a beaut?"
"Just remember, if you want to keep it you have to continue to get good grades in school and help Gramps take care of the golf course."
"Not a problem, Dad. Grades arent a problem and I love taking care of the course!"
"I know but down the road you may develop other priorities like girls?"
"Umm, Oh, I see your point!"
"You are going to catch a lot of girls eyes when they see you driving this baby! Unfortunately this is only a two-seater and youll have to limit yourself to only one girl at a time!"
"Yeah, yeah, okay, Dad! I get the picture! Im going to go help Gramps!"
"See ya later, sport!"
I hopped in the Vet and drove it about a ½ a mile down the road and parked it the parking lot well away from where people usually park.
I went into the clubhouse to get the key to the ATV. Grandma was serving some customers. "Hi, Sam! I hear congratulations is in order?"
One of our old patrons said, "Congratulations for what?"
"Sam just got his drivers license and a Corvette!"
"Well, that is a reason to celebrate! Get the boy a drink. Its on me!"
Everyone laughed. Gram said, "Bob, you know hes only 16 years old!"
"Well then, get the boy a root beer!"
"Coming right up, Bob!"
Bob looked me up and down and said, "Your old man was quite a hit with girls when he was your age! I think the girls outnumber the guys out here. Itll be a nice change."
"Bob, dont embarrass the lad!"
I took a last sip of my root beer and said, "See ya later, Gram, and thanks for the root beer!"
I hopped on the ATV and gunned it to where I knew Gramps would be trimming some trees. When I arrived at the spot I found him beginning to climb a tree. "Grandpa, what do you think youre doing?"
"God damnit! I cant reach that blasted limb!"
"I can get it, Gramps!" I was good at climbing trees. I loved climbing in the biggest trees I could find. I always felt like I was on top of the world and it was a great place to view my obsession. Youve guessed it Timber Stone!
"Okay, Gramps, Im going to hoist up the saw!"
"Be careful, boy! Your Grandma will skin me alive if she knew that you were doing this!"
"Nah, this is nothing, Gramps!"
On the way down the tree a limb caught on my T-shirt and put a big tear in it. I took it off and wiped sweat from my forehead. "Hey, Gramps, dont overdo it out here. Its a hot one today!"
"Yeah, yeah, boy! I love the heat! This is the only time that I dont feel the pain in my old joints. Dont worry, Ill drink a lot of water!"
"Okay, Gramps! Are you finished trimming the trees?"
"Yeah thats it for today!"
"Im going to work on the flowerbeds!"
I was on my hands and knees working in the flowerbeds, being careful not to miss any of the weeds. Thats when I heard someone drive up behind me, whistle, and then some giggling. I turned my head to see who it was. Recognizing the faces I resumed my work and ignored them.
"Has anyone ever told you that you have a really nice looking ass! Ooh, and you smell good too!"
"Go fuck yourself, Val!"
I heard another cart drive up. "Sam, is that you?"
It sounded like an older woman. I immediately stopped what I was doing and stood up. "Oh, hi, Mrs. Carlson"
"My, oh my, have you grown! Have you met my daughters, Valerie and Brook?"
Butting in Val said, "Yes, Momma, I was just telling Sam that I love the fragrance coming from that flower bed! Cant ya smell it, Momma?"
Looking uncomfortable, Mrs. Carlson took her eyes off of me and glanced at the flower bed and then back at me and said with a southern drawl, "That is a Fine looking flower bed!"
"Thanks, Mrs. Carlson! Hi, Chris!"
"We need to move on. Someone might drive their balls into us!"
Brook and Val smiled at me and said, "Yes, Momma! See ya around, Sam!"
"Good bye, ladies Chris!"
Chris rolled his eyes, "Bye, Sam!"
Satisfied with my work, I decided to take a break and drove back to the clubhouse. When I went in I could see the Carlsons off in the corner, enjoying their beverages. "Hi, Grandma!"
Scolding me, Gram said, "Sam, you know club rules, you must wear a shirt!"
"Yes, Gram, but I ripped my shirt!"
"Oh, well, go take a shower and grab some shorts and a shirt off of one of the racks!"
"Yes, Gram!" I went into the locker room and quickly shed my shorts and went into the shower. After taking a nice cool refreshing shower I got out and began drying off. Thats when I noticed Chris standing in one of the stalls taking a piss.
"Hi, Chris! Did you have a good round?"
Chris looked over at me and said, "Not worth a damn, I shot an 84!"
"Thats not a bad round!"
"I need to do better than that if I want to make the varsity team!" I could see him trying to shake the dew off of his willy and it seemed like he was having a tough time getting it back into his pants. I bent down and put on some clean khakis and a polo shirt.
He walked over to me, adjusting his package, and said, "Do you think you could help me out with my game?"
"Sure! Anytime! But itll cost ya!"
"Get Val off my ass! Im not interested!"
Chris started laughing, "Ill try but shes very strong headed. I dont think anything I say will stop her from sniffing you out!"
I sniffed my arm pits and looked up at him, saying, "Do I smell?"
"What can I say, shes like a blasted Blood Hound!"
"More like a bitch in heat! Oops, sorry!"
"Dont apologize! I dont like her much either!"
"No, I was out of line! I shouldnt have said that about your sister!"
Chris changed the subject and said, "So, tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow? Oh yeah, tomorrow! Sure, umm, say around 6:30 a.m.?"
"Ill be here!"
I left the locker room and could see Val sipping on her soda. I tried to sneak out but she saw me and yelled, "Sam! Wait up!"
I would have ignored her but Mrs. Carlson was watching and I didnt want to appear impolite "Hi, Sammy! Nice set of wheels! You must have been a very good boy!"
"I just got my license today and Dad bought me a car!"
Valerie followed me out the door and said, "Why dont give me a ride in your new car?"
I said, "Sure, hop in!"
Valerie is a very flirtatious, overbearing girl and I think she dominates her older brother Chris, who is very quiet. I would usually see him chauffeuring her around town. Ill be damned if she thinks that shes found herself a new driver! Ill give her a ride that she wont forget.
"Ooh, this is so nice," as she ran her hand over the leather seats. "Crank up the radio!"
I ever so slowly drove out of the parking lot and drove at a snails pace down the road. "Sam, can we go faster?"
"Oh sure!" With that I sped up to about 20mph. As we continued down the road, I could see her gradually getting more irritated with me. I couldnt get a word in edgewise even if I wanted to as she totally dominated the conversation. She droned on and on about all of the things that shes involved in. After a while I tuned her out and slowed down some more. After about an hour of driving she obviously was bored and began flicking through the different radio stations.
"Sam, can you take us back?"
"Arent you enjoying the ride?"
"Oh sure, Sammy, but I want to get back before Momma gets worried!"
"I hope shes not in a hurry to get home? It may take us a while to get back!"
"Well, maybe if we sped up a little it wouldnt take us so long to get back?"
"I suppose youre right, Val, but this is as fast as I dare go. I wouldnt want her to get away from me!"
"Yes, this car looks like it would go pretty fast?"
I didnt reply and slowly continued back to Timber Stone. It took us about an hour to get back and when we drove into the parking lot I noticed Chris putting his clubs into the trunk of the car. Val quickly hopped out of the car. "Thanks for the ride, Sam! Chris, lets go home!"
I yelled out the window and said, "Val, I could have taken you home!"
Looking flustered she said, "Sam, I want to get home today!"
Chris looked at me and smiled, "Sam, would you mind taking me for a ride?"
"Sure, Chris, hop in!"
Chris looked at Val and said, "Mom can take you home!"
Chris hopped in and we took off. "Wow, this is great, Sam!"
I looked in my rear view mirror and could see Val with her hands on her hips looking irritated as I quickly drove out of the driveway and onto the road. I couldnt help but chuckle to myself, I doubt that she will ever ask me for another ride.
"Thanks for giving me a break from my sister!"
"No problem, Chris! Dont you get tired of chauffeuring her around all over town?"
"Yeah, but as long as I keep Daddys little girl happy I get to use the car. Unfortunately Valerie knows this and uses it to her advantage."
Chris is a Sophomore and Im a Freshman. Chris seems like a genuinely nice guy and seems to get along with everyone. The only time Id talk to him is when Id see him out on the course and hed ask me for advice or wait on him in the clubhouse but never really got to know him. "How about we teach Val a lesson?"
Looking amused at my suggestion, he said, "How are WE going to do that?"
"How about setting limits! Tell her that you need time alone and that you will take her to only one destination a day."
"Ive already tried that!"
"I suppose she threatens to tell Daddy?"
Looking frustrated, he said, "Yeah, then I wont have a car!"
I pulled over onto the shoulder of the road and said, "Think about it! Neither will she! She doesnt have a license, right?"
"Shell think that shes going to teach you a lesson but shell be sadly mistaken when I come along to take you wherever you need to go!"
"Youd do that for me?"
"I sure would! Id do anything to put her in her place! Dont expect me to be at your every beck and call because Im a busy guy!"
"Cool! Im going to do it!"
I felt comfortable with Chris! It seemed that I could talk to him about a whole range of topics. However he didnt seem to know much about horticulture but we did have some things in common. We both enjoyed hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, astronomy, and of course golf. Im not sure if he was just being polite but he even seemed interested when I discussed my future plans for Timber Stone.
"Do you think that I could get a job here?"
His question caught me off guard and I said, "I dont know? I suppose I could ask Grandma. Gramps is getting old and tires easily. Dads usually on tour and its really up to me to do a lot of the work! Lets go in and talk!"
As we walked into the clubhouse Gram said, "Hello there, boys!"
"Do you like the car?"
"I love it, Gram! Gram, could Chris work for us this summer?"
Gram looked Chris up and down and said, "You look like a sturdy young man! How old are you, son?"
"Have you ever held a job?"
"Ive bussed tables."
"Well, before you accept the job I think that Sammy needs to show you around to make sure that its something that youd like to do. I also want you to meet Art. Ill need to have my his blessing if you are going to work here."
"Thanks, Mrs. Johnson!"
I hopped on the ATV and waited for Chris to climb on. I yelled, "Hang on!"
I had an idea where Gramps would be and went at breakneck speed, all the while avoiding trees and low hanging branches. I made sure to stay off of the fairways and tried to follow cart paths. Chris tightly gripped my waist to keep from falling off. I noticed his hands were under my shirt and could feel his soft hands against my skin. If hes going to work here hes going to have to toughen those hands up. We finally caught up with Gramps, "Hi, Gramps!"
"Id like to introduce you to Chris."
"Arent you Fred Carlsons boy?"
"Ive known your father for years! He was a friend of Sams father!"
"Gramps, I was wondering if Chris could get a job here for the summer?"
Grandpa thought for a moment and said, "Yes, I think we could use another pair of hands around here! I think you should know that the work is hard, hot, dirty, and we start early in the morning and finish in the evening. We usually take long breaks in the afternoon and come back out when its cooled off a bit to make repairs in the fairways and greens. If this is something that you think youd like to do, be here tomorrow at 5:00 a.m."
"Ill be here, Mr. Johnson!"
We went back to the clubhouse and told Gram the good news. I was happy to have found a potential friend and someone who could take some of the burden off of my shoulders. Taking care of a golf course is a lot of work! "Grandpa said its okay with him that Chris works here!"
"Thats good to hear, Sammy! Grab some sodas, boys!"
We went outside and sat under a big willow tree and sipped on our sodas. I looked at Chris who was picking at the grass. He had short auburn colored hair, a light complexion and blue eyes. He had the perfect combination for a severe sunburn. "Chris, you may want to bring some good sun screen with you tomorrow. Do you ever tan?"
He looked at me and said, "No, I just burn!"
I reached over and touched his nose and said, "You better use some zinc oxide to cover that nose up too!"
Laughing, I said, "Hey, I look after my employees! If I let you get burnt, youll be out for a week!"
"I wish I had skin like yours. Your so tan!"
"Well, if Im not careful I still burn. One of the reasons I wear my hair long is to protect the back of my neck." I lifted my hair up so he could see that I didnt have much of a tan on the back of my neck. I lifted my shirt up and said, "I always have a farmers tan because I usually wear a shirt!"
"Unlike you, I dont think Id look good with long hair! As you can see Im almost a skinhead. I never have to comb it and its low upkeep!"
"Then bring a cap! You also need to be careful not to get heat stroke. Drink lots of water and take a break whenever you need to!"
I heard Grandma yell, "Sammy, Mr. Rutherford would like you to caddy."
"You mean he wants free lessons! Tell him Ill be there in a minute!"
I looked at Chris and said, "I failed to tell you that if you want to make extra money, you can caddy. I better get going! He doesnt like it when I keep him waiting! Ill see ya tomorrow!"
"See ya later, Sam!"
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